Consolidating email systems

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Banco Santander already had a strategy to grow by acquisition and integrate the IT operations of the firms it buys to its own in-house platform, known as Partenon, which uses in-house middleware called Banksphere.As well as rationalising IT this creates cross-selling opportunities, improves customers satisfaction and operational performance.It has targeted efficiency savings of up to £50m for this acquisition.

"It is highly likely it will continue on its spending spree and Partenon could be a differentiator," he says.

The bank's £612m acquisition of Bradford & Bingley's savings division was the latest chapter of the financial services consolidation.

The credit crunch is putting pressure on financial services firms and banks have been called on to rescue their troubled competitors through acquisition.

If it goes wrong customer confidence can be damaged.

Peter Redshaw, an analyst at Gartner, says Banco Santander's real advantage is that it has been through this process before.

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